• Advertisement

baofang radio

General HAM Radio topics. A great place for both experienced operators and for newbies to get started and ask questions

Re: baofang radio

Postby theoutback » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:31 am

LOL...you guys just cost me $50! Stop it!

How effective will these $25 radio's be post shtf? At the very least we will use them while hunting, but how much more valuable are they than the Motorola's or the like. Sorry for the dumb question, but I'm a total rank amature in the coms world, but do understand the need for them. This is one huge prepper hole for me. Where can I go for, "coms for dummies, coms 101?" Thanks!
User avatar
theoutback
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: Vermont
Karma: 87

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:47 am

You normally get what you pay for, I have been a ham for about 50 years. Right now I own at least 50 Base,Mobile, and hand held radios. I have spend the vast majority of my time building servicing and trying to make the systems better or work just a bit better than they where so post to.

At the present time I own just about every Brand name radio that is out there including several heathkits. I built my first repeater out of a Heathkit HW202.

I list these things so it gives a bit of information where I get my experience from. The baofang and the whole line of these radios are a very cheap line of equipment that flood the market to try and suck up the buyers here in the US and make a pile of money. For just a min stop and think of what the quality of these things are if they can make them, then ship them across the pond and sell them for $20 or $30 here in the US.

I do own two of these radios, I bought them so I could do a good comparison between them and the other similar radios on the market. As I said they are a cheap radio One that I would buy to give to my kids to play with out side when they are growing up. The parts in them are sub standard. The batteries on them are sub standard, They will put out the wattage they say for a few minutes then drop off quickly. Most need to be charged regularly even when setting the shelf. That itself shows the quality. The out put they advertise might be reached but is very short and runs out quickly. Being Hams look at the Wattage amperage's and apply the theories of operation that we all know well. They do not add up. Just look at the engineering most of the other radios from across the pond have large heat sinks to dissipate heat. Nothing like that in these radios, that drives up the price. If the substandard volume squelch or PTT breaks or even just gets dirty you are off the air. after looking very closely inside and outside at this kind of equipment I for one do not want to place my life or the lives of my family members to a $20.00 or $30.00 toy that might or might not turn on when You need it. Most of them are very hard to program some even need a computer to do the programming. Many of the complaints I have ran into was this problem. The first one I got took me over a hr to set it up to work with my repeater. Put that in your wife's hands and have her change frequency's. or when the grid is down reprogram it. I love the 20 30 year old Icom, Yaesu and kenwood. They are better radios after 30 years than the baofang right out of the box.

Just my two cents.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

Re: baofang radio

Postby Myakka » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:55 am

These radios will work as long as their batteries are charged. Depends on what "shtf" scenario you are discussing, it all changes the effectiveness and usefulness..

You could put a couple in an ammo can and as long as you can keep them charged, you have a way to communicate with someone.
But unless you know how to use them, you would be like a kid playing walkie talkies with friends.

Find a local HAM club. Get your license. Practice signing in to a net now and then. (http://www.hamexam.org lets you study for the ham test for free.)

In most emergencies you could then tune in to the local repeater and get and relay news.

In a "grid down" situation, you could keep in touch with people.

These radios are not super powerful (up to 8 watts, which is good for a handheld)

but power isn't the most important element for good comms. Line of sight is the description of the path the signals take from radio to radio.
think about being on the top of a tall building and talking to a buddy who is also on top of a tall building. You would be able to talk a long ways off because there is nothing in between you to impede the signal.

If you are in a place with buildings or mountains in between you and your partner, then your signal will be less able to get through.

In my area there is a 300 foot tower with a repeater on it. With my Baofang 8 watt radio, I can hit that tower from the next county away, some 20 miles. This exceeds what people say about it, but there is nothing impeding the signal.

Last random thought about comms and high power verses low power...... The louder you talk to your buddy, the more easily others can hear you too. So if you are thinking of being a "grey man" and being invisible, lower watts and less noise is your friend.
[i]"Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"
[/i]

Skills beats Stuff!
User avatar
Myakka
Florida Preppers Network
Florida Preppers Network
 
Posts: 1151
Images: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:54 pm
Karma: 121

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:22 am

On a slightly different thought. If some are looking at a radio like this or for that matter any small hand held short distance radio no matter the quality of the unit. They really need to re evaluate that thinking. Communications with roving patrols, People with in their own group, As well as other groups, Local governments activities , as well as com's with other prepers across the US to help and make determination on our very survival and actions taken. Many seem to consider com's as a take it or leave it part of preping.

I do not believe that many of our fellow new hams or for that matter others that look for com's in different places realize that there is a good chance that repeaters and distance enhancers will be gone during a true long term SHTF. Taking the coverage of some of this kind of radio from 20 or 30 miles to possible 2 or 3 miles. It scares me that so many plan on using existing services with a lot of equipment that most likely will not be there. We must plan for the worst and hope it is better than that.

If that is the case they would be leaving a very major component of the war chest we will all need to just survive.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

Re: baofang radio

Postby Defcon09 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:23 am

I'm glad to see some "in depth" discussion on post event comms. Some comments I would like to add:

1. Why has SSB been left out of the hand helds on 2m? Really, how much more would that add to componet size and/or costs? Those SSB signals go a bit farther on a weaker signal than FM.

2. If your HT has optional AA/AAA battery cases available, buy one and put in alkaline batteries for longer term storage. I have one for my old reliable Icom V8. Actually use it more than the NiCad pack.

3' If my budget this years allows, I want to assemble a simple repeater system using 2 HT and external antennas installed inside a 5gal bucket or ammo can.. It could be discretely left in a high location, maybe add a small solar panel.

73 guys.
User avatar
Defcon09
 
Posts: 886
Images: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:23 pm
Location: Berkeley Springs, WV
Karma: 38

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:38 am

Some thoughts
I have no Idea on what size or cost would be added with SSB rather than just FM, I agree it would be nice to have for several reasons. I would use it and I am sure many would. My guess is,and it is just a guess. That some how the manufactures of said radios have decided ( May be ) wrongly not to be included in the Hand helds they make. Actually it looks like SSB on 2M 440 and other UHF and VHF bands is fading rather than getting stronger. It is getting a bit difficult to find radios with it. I actually had to buy a HF rig in order to get on SSB on the UHF band.

Batteries
It seems like and I would be interested in the feelings of others, the new age batteries seem to be less dependable to be charged and then hold it for several months than it was 20 years ago. I have and use several Icom hand helds that back in the 70s when I got them would hold a charge for several months if not in use. Over the last few years the new ones I replace the old ones with seem to do dead after tow or three months. The only think I can come up with is some times newer is not always better.?

HT Repeater thoughts from trying it.
Not sure if you know this but Icom has a harness that you can plug into their Hand helds and will do just what you are talking about. Some of the down sides we found are hand helds are not well known for good frequency isolation from each other and you will have a good amount of desence Between the units completely wiping out the fairly good to week signals.

The other problem we ran into was the radios where not built to do continuous duty. With in just a few min we over heated the transmitter radio. It did work better when run on low power less than ½ watt but still got hot after a while, there is very little heat sink on a HT we finely ended up taking a GE master two apart Isolating them in rf prof boxes with feed through caps then added a small set of mobile duplexers it worked rather well.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

Re: baofang radio

Postby theoutback » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:07 am

Any suggestions on decent two ways?
User avatar
theoutback
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: Vermont
Karma: 87

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:44 am

Most of the newer Hts are horribly expensive, 90% of the radio we do not use. The Baofang and the like cheap radios are really doing very little to drive down the prices on the brand name ones. What I have done is to watch for the much older brand name equipment I have bought the Icom, yaesu, kenwood hand held's for $50 to $75 each. some 20 to 30 years old and still work like new some even look new.

There are many that are in rough shape, but many times you will also find then that are all most like new. Many of them either cover the emergency services and marine bands with a slight mod or some just as they are. Most of these radios have battries that will last for a long time when still giving 4 or 5 watts out. They have a good strong BNC antenna connector rather than a mini something or other that will break with normal use. Lots of drop in charger on the market and even just a normal charger for the batteries. Many have AA and AAA cases that can be used on them so you have a verity of ways to power the radio. If you drop them and break the volume or squelch control's if you have any repair ability you can take it apart and repair it. Try doing that with a Baofang or for that matter some of the new brand name radios.

Don't get me wrong I think some of the cheap ones have there place as in practice and simulated events
rather than put the ware and tare on the radios you plan to use during an event. That is where the big differences came up for us if you drop it or two people on patrol talking to each other one with the older radios and the other person with the cheap rig it shows up quickly.

We all need something we can depend on for who knows how long. I really hate to see people buy and depend something and then find it will not give what they expect..That really apply s to people that only buy one or two radios have no back ups for what ever reason. Family radios are really great for that for that. It says right on the package up to 15 miles. Many people feel that will be enough buy it put it away and will get a big surprise when they need it. In the real world you are lucky if you get a mile. Drop it and it quits.

I really have no idea how many people or groups are out there that really do drills practice and use the equipment they plan on using. after talking to many many of those it seems not many. So if we can't talk them unto trying out the equipment at least they should know what to depend on and what not to.

Just my two cents.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

Re: baofang radio

Postby theoutback » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks for your insight Scoutmaster. I'm sure you get what you pay for. I did get a couple of those UV-5R's in yesterday from Amazon, put them together, read and watched a couple vids on them. Seems very easy to use and I listened to an FM channel. I thought the sound was real good and that station came in real good for my area. I'm going to program in some of the local weather, police, etc. tomorrow to see how that goes. I'll try and get together with a friend that has been into them forever to learn from. Who knows, I might just love it and get into it big time.I'm still going to read up and find some good two ways.....Again, thanks for your input.
User avatar
theoutback
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: Vermont
Karma: 87

Re: baofang radio

Postby RayMac1963 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Ok Outback, i'm expecting a full and complete report soon. Those things been in my Amazon basket WAY too long.
I can't help but think God is up there right now saying "its time to shake the ol' Etch-A-Sketch and restart humanity again".



My Blog---> http://urbanprepperdiary.blogspot.com
User avatar
RayMac1963
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 4412
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:34 pm
Location: just outside of Motown
Karma: 254

Re: baofang radio

Postby theoutback » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:20 am

RayMac1963 wrote:Ok Outback, i'm expecting a full and complete report soon. Those things been in my Amazon basket WAY too long.


I'll give ya a report Ray, for what it's worth. Again, I'm as comms deficient as you. I've just used the FM and it seems to be a good radio. I'm out in the sticks and it came in clear as can be. I've got a couple hand crank AM/FM weather radio's, these came in much clearer. As far as battery life and such, I can't tell ya. I've got to work in my orchards today, I'll bring one out to have some music while I'm pruning. They've got a full charge, give you a report on that later.
User avatar
theoutback
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: Vermont
Karma: 87

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:23 am

Do a distance check between the two units, and have another person standing there with a Kenwood, Icon or Yaesu see how they compare. Make sure it is several hrs on high power because that is what we will need then the time comes. I will be interested to see if yours comes out like mine did Also please keep in mind, I did not say they did not have comparable working characteristics some may be better when first out of the box and working, I questioned the longevity repairabilty and general life Expectancy
it is like Nassion building a Mercedes-Benz and charging $5000.00 for it.
It will start and run but for how long, and how far will it travel before breaking down. would any of us expect to get the same reliability I guess we would. When I put my family's safety in to the hands of manufactured equipment I would load them into the original time tested Mercedes not the knock off. The only thing worse than not having what we need to survive, is thinking we have what we need but it won't fulfill the need we placed in it.

I guess I really need to except that people will all ways take the shortest cheapest and quickest way and continue to wonder why we failed in getting there, It's really just human nature.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

Re: baofang radio

Postby Myakka » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:06 pm

Scoutmaster,

I have used the baofeng heavily at work. Our issued radios are $1000 Bendix Kings. They are 5 watt digital handhelds.

My baofeng with the 18" whip outperforms them for range. But.... the way the baofeng achieves the narrow band (and I do not remember how my comm brilliant friend explained it....) they are not truly narrow band in the same way..
Which means that they are more open to interference. You get break in of static now and then.

Otherwise, I find the radio to be solid. And I have used them for 7 hours with a team, some simplex and some repeater mixed through the day.

So my report is they would be a stellar choice for most small groups. If we were in a serious "grid down" event, a lot of the sources of interference would be gone anyway. LOL

And I like the range and clarity other than the static issue. (I find that this only happens on certain channels, which are near other active channels. If I am on a channel that is a good distance from any other activity, it doesn't happen.)
[i]"Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"
[/i]

Skills beats Stuff!
User avatar
Myakka
Florida Preppers Network
Florida Preppers Network
 
Posts: 1151
Images: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:54 pm
Karma: 121

Re: baofang radio

Postby theoutback » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:45 am

RayMac1963 wrote:Ok Outback, i'm expecting a full and complete report soon. Those things been in my Amazon basket WAY too long.


Ray I used it for 2.25 hours yesterday just listening to tunes while working in the orchards and still had 3 of 4 bars showing. I didn't have it on as loud as it could be cause it was too loud. Programing some local channels in today.
User avatar
theoutback
 
Posts: 1397
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: Vermont
Karma: 87

Re: baofang radio

Postby Scoutmaster » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:12 am

outback
That is great looks like it should be a good piece of equipment for what you need.
PREPPERS SAVE THE EXCUSES, IT'S NOT ABOUT HAVING TIME, IT'S ABOUT MAKING TIME, IF IT MATTERS YOU WILL HAVE TIME
Every one has priorities, different for each of us, main reasons most of us can not form a group that will last our priorities are all different so are you. REMEMBER, IF YOUR PREP PRIORITIES ARE LOWER THEN THE PEOPLE YOU CAN'T WORK WITH, THEY MIGHT MAKE IT AND YOU WON'T, DON'T BLAME THEM FOR NOT OFFERING YOU HELP LATER, WHEN YOU FAIL LATER AND YOUR IN TROUBLE. BLAME YOUR PRIORITIES.
User avatar
Scoutmaster
Michigan Preppers Network
Michigan Preppers Network
 
Posts: 590
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:50 pm
Location: S/E & N/E Michigan
Karma: 68

PreviousNext

Return to HAM Radio Open Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for the APN Email Newsletter - Enter your e-mail address below


  Links and Resources
  -Links
  -Podcasts
  -Free Ebooks



Trusted Sponsors












Copyright
For Notices of Copyright infringement and to contact our DMCA Agent please follow the link below:
Copyright Policy

For terms of use, rules, and policies please read our Disclaimer